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Book Review: Jump Rope Training Jump Rope Training by Buddy Lee

Jump Rope Training Jump Rope Training by Buddy Lee

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
There's strength, flexibility, concentration...and coordination.It is this last attribute that is normally associated with very few exercise regimes. You may need co-ordination to row a skiff or push a bicycle but once you've attained that skill it's, ummm, like riding a bike.

Buddy Lee was once a champion wrestler who developed an inordinate amount of skill as a rope jumper. He then went on to explore rope jumping as a means to supplement other training modalities.So if you do another sport Lee wants to explain how skipping can make you better at it.

So he delivers a very comprehensive theory of rope jumping and outlines some intense training programs that you can adapt and integrate into your schedule.

But if you are trying to learn how to skip there is nothing better than a good video lesson with Lee such as these from Crossfit.

Lee argues that jump rope is a real boon for coordination, posture and proprioception -- the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other.

If you like that's the very magic of skipping as a skill worth the effort to learn.

Unfortunately Lee's approach is geared to the athlete not those who are interested in 'fitness' for its own sake. That means the rest of us have to draw out of the book what may suit our shallow physical levels and aspirations.

I mean, if you aren't intent on making the next Olympic team, is jumping rope relevant to you?

So Lee leaves a few unanswered questions even though he poses them in a round about way. If children can jump rope for fun and fitness why can't the rest of us? And if we do, what are we getting, physiologically, out of it?

For me though, it's nice to know that there are all these extras to be had from rope jumping. I see the skill as a marker of how far you are advancing in way of fitness -- as well as a great way to warm up.

Is there a risk of knee injury for the Joe Averages? Lee doesn't explore that. But then the US jump rope culture is a developed sporting scene whereas here, it's a lucky event when today a skipping rope makes it out on the primary school playground.

But whoever you are, the best thing about jumping a rope is that the more effort you put into it the better you get. Of course the irony is that you put more effort in to learn how to expend less.

It's a philosophical exercise in contradiction. The book that still needs to be written is Zen and the Art of Rope Jumping.

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